Our Childminder Slipped And Fractured Her Wrist – Will Standard Home Insurance Cover This?

Caeva O'Callaghan | September 17th, 2020

Will my home insurance cover injuries to my chlildminder?

A domestic employee injuring themselves on your property can be a costly disaster if you haven’t got the right cover. But will it usually fall under your standard home insurance policy?

Yes – under the section titled liability to domestic employees. The limit is typically €3 million for all damages, costs, fees and expenses for any one claim against you.

The good news is that if you have a domestic employee – childminder, housekeeper, or otherwise – your home insurance will cover them for injury, without the need for any add-ons or extra cover.

In this article, we’ll cover questions like:

  • What happens if my housekeeper suffers an injury in my home?
  • Are domestic employees covered by my home insurance?
  • What is a domestic employee?

Your insurance company will cover all amounts you are legally responsible to pay as damages for injury to any person under a contract of service with you for private domestic duties.

What is a domestic employee?

In legal parlance, a domestic employee is someone who works in your home. You may be surprised to find that you have domestic employees at all. Many people fail to consider these types of workers when buying home insurance.

However, if you own or rent a home, you’ve almost certainly hired a domestic employee at some point.

Private domestic employees include, but are not limited to:

  • Cleaners
  • Handymen/women
  • Gardeners
  • Childminders
  • Babysitters
  • Pet sitters
  • Chauffeurs
  • Painters and decorators
  • Anyone carrying out repair or maintenance work on your property

Employees vs visitors, plus exceptions

For a claim to be successful, the injury they sustain must arise as a result of their employment by you.

This means if they were on your property outside of their duties – for example, if they entered your house without permission – cover would not apply. If you invited them to a party, or if they popped over for a cup of tea in the evening after their shift had ended, they would have cover only so far as every other guest.

But if they slipped while cleaning your floors, fell down your stairs while painting or otherwise hurt themselves, your policy will cover you if you become legally liable.

You may also find that domestic employee cover isn’t a part of landlord’s insurance. If you have employees which regularly maintain your rental properties, you’ll have to pay more for this kind of cover.

Also, you will not have cover for injuries arising from you owning or using animals which aren’t normal pets. In Ireland, domesticated animals include horses, cats, dogs, and other common furry friends. (So if your gerbil goes rogue, you need not worry.)

This is basically to draw a line between normal home insurance and farm insurance policies. Farm employees should have cover under farm insurance, which has different risk factors due to the equipment and animals present you would not find in a normal domestic setting.

Injuries and liability

In a standard home insurance policy, you’ll find liability cover within both buildings and contents cover. Which applies to you will depend if your employee injured themselves within your house, or on your outside property.

Buildings cover will apply if a tile falls off a roof onto your gardener, for example, or their property. Contents cover, meanwhile, generally covers accidents in the home.

A standard home insurance policy should cover you for two kinds of liability:

Owner’s Liability – provides cover if a visitor or their belongings come to harm and you are liable. E.g. this would cover you if a tile were to fall off your roof.

Third-Party Liability – provides personal cover should you cause injury to another person through your negligence outside the home. E.g. if you hit someone with a golf ball.

Luckily, relatively few cases of suing are successful. This is because the claimant has to prove negligence, not just the fact that an accident has happened. This is the case no matter how serious the injury. It’s difficult to prove that if the other party had done their job, the accident would never have happened.

If your childminder has injured themselves on your property and you find yourself worrying if you’re liable, call us today. We’ll be able to give you professional advice to deal with the specific scenario. We are available by phone between 8.30am and 5.30pm each weekday on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If you need an instant home insurance quote online, please use our online quote engine. We compare home insurance from 12 of Ireland’s leading insurers to get you covered for your specific set of circumstances. We look forward to helping you.